Florida forgives, and you get the bill

The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 28, 2012

The state of Florida recently “forgave” $142.2 million in taxes, fines and overpaid benefits for the third year in a row. The previous two years, the state wrote off $110.5 million and $109 million. I wasn’t ever really good at math, but I can add 142, plus 110, plus 109 and realize that’s more than $350 million the state failed to collect.

What I lack in math skills, I make up for in knowing how government works. It works like this: Every time the state fails to collect money it is owed, somebody else has to make up the difference.

That’s you and me, folks. It works out to be about 19 bucks a person for every resident of the state — that is, if the state could collect it.

To make matters worse, Continue reading “Florida forgives, and you get the bill”

Doubt creeps under the Christmas tree

The other night she told Amy, “Mom, I really need to know. I’m not a kid anymore; you can’t believe in fairy tales forever.” Last I checked, 8 years-old is still a kid. Besides, the magic of Santa and believing in something fun doesn’t have to have expiration date.

Of course believing in Santa is not the same as having religious faith. For Casey, she is a firm believer in Jesus. And she is quick to note she believes, even though she’s never seen Him at the mall.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 25, 2012

The last few weeks, my oldest daughter Casey, who is 8, has been asking about the legitimacy of Santa Clause. She pleas for the truth, as my wife, Amy, and I look into her eyes muttering lame statements such as, “If you don’t believe, you won’t receive.”

Spring 2012 904
Photo: Casey back when she believed in the Easter bunny.

The other night she told Amy, “Mom, I really need to know. I’m not a kid anymore; you can’t believe in fairy tales forever.” Last I checked, 8 years-old is still a kid. Besides, the magic of Santa and believing in something fun doesn’t have to have expiration date.

Of course believing in Santa is not the same as having religious faith. For Casey, she is a firm believer in Jesus. And she is quick to note she believes, even though she’s never seen Him at the mall.

Casey said she knows Santa isn’t real, “[Because] Dad keeps getting confused as to the presents you guys bought me and what presents Santa brought me.”

What can I say? I’ve got a bad memory.

Casey also boldly told us the tooth fairy and the Easter bunny aren’t for real. When we asked how she knew that, she said, Continue reading “Doubt creeps under the Christmas tree”

All our kids (should) want for Christmas is $86 trillion

They’re getting ready to punt again, with President Obama and Speaker Boehner working on a compromise that would include tax increases, spending cuts and an extension of the debt ceiling. Although the tax increases and spending cuts are a good start, they’re a mere drop in the bucket. A $400 billion unspecified cut in entitlement spending here and a $440 billion tax increase there (both over a period of 10 years), won’t do anything other than symbolize the need to do something. Those mediocre attempts to rectify an $86 trillion debt would be like throwing a gallon of water on a five-alarm fire of a completely engulfed building that stretches for several city blocks.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Saturday, December 22, 2012

Photo: My kids. Caption: The next generation is getting screwed.
Photo: My kids. Caption: The next generation is getting screwed.

If the 1960s are most remembered for the Kennedy and King assassinations and the fight for racial equality, and the ’70s for Watergate, Vietnam protests and the gas crisis, the ’80s for the fall of the Berlin Wall and Ronald Reagan’s optimism, the ’90s for the tech boom and Bill Clinton’s intern, the 2000s for the September 11th tragedy and the election of the first black president, the decade of 2010 will be defined by the bankruptcy of America.

You could write tomes explaining how this happened and who is to blame, but that won’t solve the problem. The fact is, America is broke, and it’s only a matter of time before we face the upheaval seen in Greece (in 2011, only Greece, Italy and Japan had higher debt as a percentage of GDP than the United States). The only reason we aren’t there yet is due to our politicians’ proclivity for punting.

They’re getting ready to punt again, with President Obama and Speaker Boehner working on a compromise that would include Continue reading “All our kids (should) want for Christmas is $86 trillion”

A Charlie Crist(mas)

A Charlie Crist(mas)

Democrat political consultant Kevin Cate, Bay News 9s Troy Kinsey (as Charlie Crist), and Chuckles the Clown (Charlie boy as himself) appear in this funny video “holiday card.” It’s pretty funny. Troy does a spot on impersonation of the tan man… One thing is clear, Mr. “for the people” Crist sure does like attention.

Here is the greeting from Cate’s website (followed by the link to watch the video): “We try to have a little fun for our holiday card to our friends and clients. Here is this year’s video featuring Governor Charlie Crist and Bay News 9/Central Florida 13 star political reporter, aka “Tallahassee’s Tina Fey,” Troy Kinsey. For every view, we will contribute $1 to Community Action Stops Abuse in St. Petersburg Florida. Please share on Facebook and Twitter.”

Here is the linkhttp://www.catecomm.com/2012/12/22/charlie-crist-mas-delivers-obama-gifts/

Nice job fellas! Tell too-tan Charlie I said hello.

And remember, you can’t spell Charlie without L-I-E. 

Chris

A child’s innocent light shines

Following the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, like many parents, I thought about my own kids and the pain those children’s families must be going through.

Nothing can bring their little ones back, or ease the pain of trying to understand why this happened.

In thinking about this horrendous event, I recalled how late last year my daughter Casey, (who was only 7 years old at the time) wrote a song called “Let My Light Shine.”

Casey wrote the song which professes her view of God and expresses the generally optimistic nature and innocence all children have.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune

Published Thursday, December 20, 2012

Following the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary, like many parents, I thought about my own kids and the pain those children’s families must be going through.

Nothing can bring their little ones back, or ease the pain of trying to understand why this happened.

In thinking about this horrendous event, I recalled how late last year my daughter Casey, (who was only 7 years old at the time) Continue reading “A child’s innocent light shines”